6th of August, 2006, Glucksburg - Germany.
At 49 years my first full triathlon. Months of preparation, injured 3 weeks before which prevents me of using my triathlon handle bar on the bike. I'm taking the start with the idea, I'll see where I get, but being the only Belgian participant, I get a tremendous mental boost on the beach before the start when my friends and family start shouting my name. My passage in Glucksburg is due to them definitely not been unnoticed. Countdown starts, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO! and I walk as one of the last in the water, just want to see where I can get a quiet position. The water is rather rough due to the wind and full of jellyfish - but the previous days I experienced that they were not harmfull at all. At the first rounding I notice that quite some participants cut the corner, doing so how can they say they finished a full triathlon ? After my first round in the sea, I wave my left arm at the people on the peer, hoping my "fans" will notice it. 1h 6' is the time it took, this went OK, now the big unknown, will I be able to finish the bike with that nagging injury ? I'm not hurrying in the transition zone, take my time to eat and drink before I get on the bike. 6 laps of 3O km, good thing for the "fans", but for me it was likewise. Last round and I'm still around 30 km/h average; I can't help it, but for the last round I want to try my triathlon handle bar so I can finish under 6 hours, hmm, bad idea after 2 km I feel the injury again, so decide not to screw it up having got so far. After 6h 2' I get off my bike, about 20' longer that I hoped before I got my injury ... but I told myself to be positif, as 3 weeks ago I even thought about not starting at all. As with the previous transition, I take my time to drink - it's then 14:00h, sunny with temparature 28Â° (Celsius). Never ran a marathon in my life, but when I start running my legs don't seem to bother much; 5 laps of 8.4 km along the coast and around the parc with it's beautiful castle. I decide to take a drink at every aid stop, in Glucksburg that's every 2 km, isotonic drinks, gels, sugar and salty cookies. First 24 km went well, but then I start to feel the general fatigue, and I decide to walk a bit longer after each drink. And then the last 200m, my friend (a real IronMan) hands me a Belgian flag, and in real "Luc Vanlierde in Hawai"-style, I cross the finish after 12h 11' 59". I felt tremendously happy, as my goal was to get that finisher medal and give it to my 21 year old godchild, who during the months of my training had to deal with chemio- and radiation therapy to fight his cancer.
Information about the small (374 participants for the full triathlon and a couply of hundred for the relay), but very well organized Ostseeman triathlon can be found at :